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Fundraiser planned for emergency shelter

POSTED: April 26, 2009 12:03 a.m.

What do motorcycle riders, a singles group and shelter volunteers have in common?

They’re all working together to raise money for My Sister’s Place, an emergency shelter for homeless women and children.

My Sister’s Place volunteers are currently working with members of Lanier Singles to plan a Poker Run for May 16 at Clermont Park at 639 Main St., Clermont.

"Last fall, we had a booth at the Clermont Days Festival. It seemed crazy to me, but I kept thinking we should have a motorcycle poker run. The crazy part is that I really did not know what one was exactly," said Sylvia Stoltzfus, My Sister’s Place executive director.

"Some of the Lanier Singles members happened to come by our booth and I asked them if they would be interested in holding this event for us. One gentleman said they had talked about doing a ride before, but had not done it yet. Richard McPherson, the group’s president, came by and said they would love to organize the ride for us."

For those who are not familiar with a "poker run," it involves motorcycle riders, a designated route and playing cards. For this particular poker run, riders are given a map of the nearly 90-mile route and a "playing sheet." At each of the stops, the riders draw a playing card and a volunteer writes their pulled card down on the rider’s individual playing sheet. At the end of the ride, a $150 prize is given to the rider with the best poker hand and another $75 prize is given to the rider with the worst hand.

Although it may seem random for the singles group to be working with the shelter to plan a fundraiser, this isn’t the first time that the two groups have worked together.

"The Lanier Singles have been involved with My Sister’s Place for a couple of years. We started by painting most of the inside of their existing house one very cold, snow-covered winter day," said Richard McPherson, Lanier Singles president.

"We are a non-profit organization and have around 70 active members. We put the emphasis on the social part of our group. We are not about dating or mating, but getting out and being involved in activities for health and exercise. Just about every Sunday afternoon we have a picnic, socialize and play volleyball."

In addition to the poker run, there will also be various vendors with wares and food for sale, live music and entertainment.

There will also be a separate children’s area with crafts, games and other family friendly activities.

Poker run participants can register in advance, or the day of the actual ride.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to help purchase a new, larger shelter for My Sister’s Place.



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